Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - CNRP backing wage demand

CNRP backing wage demand

CNRP backing wage demand

The opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party has firmly backed a union-led push for a $177 minimum wage in the Kingdom’s garment sector.

However, party leaders have suggested that they will not encourage mass strikes and protests this time around, in contrast to December, when workers demonstrating for a doubling of their minimum wage coalesced with an opposition-led campaign to unseat Prime Minister Hun Sen.

During that politically tense period, the party urged workers to continue striking until their demands were met.

“Out [of] or in parliament the CNRP continues to fully support the workers’ demand for a decent minimum wage,” party leader Sam Rainsy told the Post yesterday, adding that if firms stopped paying bribes to government officials, they could afford $177 “without jeopardising their competitiveness”.

“There will be [a] mass strike only at the last resort. We will do our best to prevent violence,” Rainsy went on to say.

The government blamed the opposition for having “incited” violent protests in January that saw at least five workers shot dead by authorities and millions in factory losses.

CNRP public affairs head Mu Sochua said the party was looking for a “win-win situation” for all stakeholders this time, and would push for a free and peaceful “climate of dialogue”.

“We have to learn from the past experience where lives of workers were lost, military police forces [were] used, and no independent investigation conducted,” she said.

But some unionists yesterday remained wary of overt CNRP involvement in their campaign.

“He is a lawmaker, so he has the right to join or walk out with the unions and workers to demand the minimum wage,” Collective Union of Movement of Workers president Pav Sina said of Rainsy. “But for me I think he should stay at the National Assembly to demand the wage for the workers in order to avoid [allowing] the other party to accuse us of being involved with the opposition party.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Typhoon Noru brings flash floods – 16 dead

    An official warned that that the 16th typhoon of the season, Noru, had brought heavy rains to areas the Mekong River and flooded thousands of homes in the provinces bordering Thailand. As of September 27, the death toll from the flooding had risen to 16. National Committee

  • Siem Reap drain canal now ‘mangrove’ promenade

    A more than half a kilometre long stretch of canal in Siem Reap has been covered and turned into a promenade to attract visitors, said Ly Rasmey, secretary of state at the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction, on September 16. The new pedestrianised

  • Angkor wildlife, aquarium park still to open October

    The Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium complex about 30km southeast of Siem Reap town with initial total investment of more than $70 million is reportedly still on track for an end-October opening. The park is located on a 100ha plot along National Road 6 in Kbon village, Khchas

  • Defence minister reaffirms Kingdom’s staunch support for One-China policy

    Minister of National Defence General Tea Banh has reaffirmed Cambodia’s unwavering support for the One-China policy. Tea Banh was speaking at the September 20 ceremonial handover of 117 vehicles and other military equipment donated by China’s defence ministry, held at Phnom Chumreay International Military Training

  • Thai Senate delegates in Cambodia to discuss anti-graft co-op

    A delegation from Thailand's Senate was in Phnom Penh on September 28 to meet their Cambodian counterparts to discuss strategies for fighting corruption and enhancing cooperation. The Thai delegates were from its Senate’s Committee on Studying and Inspecting Corruption, Misconduct and Strengthening Good Governance. They

  • Deaths due to ‘lifestyle’ diseases rise in Kingdom

    The Ministry of Health has called on people to pay closer attention to their health to protect themselves from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) which it said have caused high rates of deaths in the country. Ministry secretary of state York Sambath made the call at a